Wed, Feb 16, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Nan Shan agents protest over health premiums

LOOPHOLE EXPOSED:A spokesperson for Nan Shan’s labor union says the company got away with cheating 15,000 agents out of their health insurance premiums

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

More than 100 sales agents at Nan Shan Life Insurance Co yesterday staged a protest in front of the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI), accusing the bureau of ignoring Nan Shan’s disregard for its employees’ right to be insured.

Nan Shan’s labor union said the company had terminated the sales agents’ health insurance after claiming that they were not employees, but rather contractual workers and should therefore be insured under their labor union.

However, although the company has terminated the agents’ health insurance, it did not terminate their labor insurance, which highlights inconsistencies in its employee policies, the union said.

Under the law, businesses must pay 60 percent of an employee’s National Health Insurance premiums, while the employee pays 30 percent of the premiums, with the balance subsidized by the government.

Lan Wei-ting (藍維鼎), a board member and spokesperson for Nan Shan’s labor union, said the sales agents were still employed by Nan Shan, but because the company was not required to provide certification of employment contract termination to terminate health plans, Nan Shan got away with cheating more than 15,000 agents out of their health insurance premiums.

“We have repeatedly requested that the bureau look into the problem of Nan Shan’s violations [of employees’ right to health insurance], but it kept delaying a response to our requests and we have yet to receive a satisfactory answer,” Lan said.

The union said the bureau should actively investigate the matter, rather than brush off their request by telling them that the matter cannot be resolved until other government agencies confirm whether the sales agents are employed by the company or not.

In response, the bureau said that while the matter of whether the 15,000 agents were employed by Nan Shan was not in its remit, it would corroborate its database with that of the Bureau of Labor Insurance, so that sales agents who are insured as company employees under the labor insurance system would receive equal treatment under the health insurance system.

The union and the BNHI also reached an agreement whereby Nan Shan’s application to terminate an employee’s health insurance should be accompanied by evidence that the employee has left the company.

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